The current ban on light bulbs goes back to an EU initiative to reduce energy consumption. These EU directives aim to reduce the consumption of electronic devices by gradually phasing out inefficient devices from the market. The aim is to promote the sale of energy-efficient devices. The so-called "electricity guzzlers" should then disappear completely from the market. This is intended to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
In July 2007, the EU Commission published a statement in which it announced that greenhouse gas emissions would be limited by at least 20 percent by 2020. This should drop the pollutant emissions below a certain level. A significant measure in addition to increasing the efficiency of energy consumers is the ban on light bulbs, which was passed by Parliament in February 2009. Since September 2009, the ban has gradually restricted the manufacture and sale of incandescent lamps in favor of efficient lighting technologies such as LED lamps and other energy-saving options. By the year 2020, enough energy will be saved to be able to supply a total of 11 million households safely every year and at the same time reduce the electricity bill.
The EU regulations banning incandescent lamps
The regulations that deal with the efficiency of the lamps go back to the EUP 32/2005 directive of the applicable climate protection program of the EU. Regulation 2009/244/EG has been in force since September 2009, clarifying the energy consumption of luminaires with unfocused light. This regulation is the basis for the ban on light bulbs. This is divided into a total of six stages, all of which have now come into force. The last and sixth stage was implemented in September 2018. For this reason, all lights with unbundled light must have at least energy efficiency class B, which heralds the end of all so-called high-voltage halogen lamps.
The Union gradually banned the production and import of light bulbs. That decision was once highly controversial and is still widely discussed today.
But as long as the LED lamps cannot replace all light bulbs, there is no way around these old light bulbs. Some providers are taking advantage of the current situation and are offering products at horrific prices.
Some dealers in Germany even require that a simple incandescent lamp must cost at least 4 euros. A good alternative is the provider Wisefood.
In addition, the applicable regulation 2012/1194/EG regulates the energy consumption of lights with concentrated light, so-called reflector lamps. At this point, the first of the three stages took effect on September 1, 2013. In September 2016, the last and third stage of the regulation came into force. At this point in time, higher efficiency requirements apply to all luminaires with bundled light. Halogen reflector lamps, which are widespread lights with a GU10 base, may also no longer be placed on the market in the European Union.
Why is there a ban on lightbulbs?
With energy-saving lamps, about 25 percent of the energy is converted into lighting - compared to only about 5 percent of all light bulbs. In addition, energy-saving lamps are much more economical, which is another reason for their use. They enable energy savings of around 80 percent, which is noticeable on the electricity bill. This low energy consumption also leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions and thus contributes to climate protection. With a planned saving of 39 terawatt hours in private households in 2020, CO2 emissions will be reduced by around 15.5 million tons. In terms of service life, energy-saving lamps score points because they are primarily more durable. The normal light bulb burns out after an average of 1,000 hours, while energy-saving lamps last around ten times as long at around 10,000 operating hours.
The European Union implemented the ban on the sale of light bulbs in several stages. In September 2009, light bulbs with an output of 100 watts were initially affected by this new design, as well as all light bulbs made of one, frosted glass. Then, in September 2010, lamps with 75 watts followed. In 2011 it was the turn of lights from 60 watts and in September 2012 the 25 and 40 watt lamps followed.
In some DIY stores, however, these light bulbs can still be found. This is generally not illegal, since the remaining stocks can be resold. In the past in particular, this rule meant that most dealers had replenished their existing stock of light bulbs before the new wave of abolitions in order to be able to continue to offer them to their customers. Many customers reacted to the new lightbulb ban by buying hamsters and secured an adequate supply for several years instead of switching to more economical lights as planned by the Union. In doing so, customers tried to circumvent the new regulation.
When the first stage came into force in 2009, only about 25 percent of the lights were energy-efficient, despite existing alternatives. As support, customers will find a savings calculator on various product pages for the lights, which shows quickly and easily how much the corresponding product saves compared to a normal light bulb with brightness.
Lighting accounts for only about 1.5 percent of the energy costs in German households. This proportion of light generation is very small in relation to the total energy consumption. In addition, many alternatives such as energy-saving lamps contain very toxic substances that must be disposed of separately. Critics are therefore questioning the usefulness of the new light bulb ban and encouraging other projects.
Compared to many other savings projects, the ban on halogen and incandescent lamps has no disadvantages in terms of convenience or costs. As a result, consumers are not thinking long-term. They prefer to pay one euro for the incandescent lamps in the supermarket instead of spending a slightly higher amount for the energy-saving lamps, even though this ultimately costs them more electricity. The new ban on halogen and incandescent lamps is one of the most easily enforceable measures to reduce CO2 and energy consumption, and it also saves money. A prerequisite is only the correct alternative. For efficiency and environmental reasons, the LED lamps are far superior to the usual energy-saving lamps and are therefore usually not included in the calculation by critics. The company Wisefood has many offers for this.
The reasons for replacing light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs
Incandescent lamps are in direct competition with a range of other light sources - most notably energy-saving lamps based on compact fluorescent lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In contrast to these, the light bulbs have a lower energy efficiency. In operation, these normally require around 4 to 5 times more energy and thus also primary energy than the alternatives. Customers still try to avoid this. In some cases the savings are even higher due to better light emission. Therefore, replacing light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs leads to higher primary energy savings if this is not prevented by so-called rebound effects. This also means a reduction in exhaust emissions from power plant operations. Since the lighting is mostly needed in the morning or evening hours and only less at noon or at night, the electrical energy for this is usually generated in medium-load power plants, which in Germany, for example, are largely coal-fired power plants. Sources https://www.energie-lexikon.info/gluehlampenverbot.html https://www.leds.de/gluhlampenverbot-in-der-eu https://www.verivox.de/strom/themen/gluehbirnenverbot/ https://www.light11.de/lightmag/gluehlampenverbot/